Cape Town – A family in KwaZulu-Natal was forced to return their mother’s body to the mortuary after a chief allegedly halted the funeral, saying they had no right to bury her on the land in uMthwalume.
The incident happened last weekend.
According to Times Live, the Mkhungo family was on their way to bury their loved one, Rosemary Mkhungo, when they were met by a group of young men who shovelled the soil back into the open grave.
The men, allegedly sent by Chief Siphiwe Maluleka, under the Luthuli tribal authority, asked the family who gave the permission for the burial.
The family was then forced to return the body to the mutuary.
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“It was not a nice scene because most of the mourners were female and they were helpless when we faced the wrath of the induna,” said Rosemary’s sister Naledi Mkhungo, as quoted by the report.
Upon hearing the news, the uMzumbe Local Municipality intervened and offered to cover the costs of the funeral of the Mkhungo family, IOL reported.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala also intervened and directed the department to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The province also implemented several interventions to help the family, including psychosocial support for the traumatic experience they went through and profiling of households in accordance with Operation Sukuma Sakhe so that the Department of Human Settlements can assist the family with an RDP house.
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Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo